LONDON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--A new push-to-talk (PTT) communications solution that features a unique hybrid of satellite and terrestrial connectivity has been delivered to Elektro in Brazil by Inmarsat and partners Tesacom and Thrane & Thrane. The PTT solution will utilise the Inmarsat BGAN network to power a VoIP dispatch system for the company’s fleet of more than 600 service vehicles.
“Leading utilities worldwide must maintain fast, reliable communications with their field-service personnel to ensure optimal customer service. At Inmarsat, we are continually working with our trusted partners to develop innovative communications solutions to meet those demanding network requirements.”
Elektro is one of Brazil’s largest electricity distributors, serving over 2 million customers across a 120,000km2 area. For the last 10 years the company has relied on a VHF radio system to contact service vehicles, delivered via more than 150 radio towers throughout its concession area, which was complex to maintain and costly to upgrade or expand.
The new BGAN-based PTT solution enhances the voice communications between the operation centre and the service teams in the field, with better availability and higher quality. It also, for the first time, delivers real-time mobile data access across Elektro’s entire infrastructure.
Uniquely the hybrid solution provides access to both cellular networks (4G/3G/GPRS) and the Inmarsat-4 satellite network, with a ‘least-cost routing’ capability that automatically detects when the vehicle is beyond cellular coverage and switches to VoIP over BGAN.
“Our previous system was not much different than is used by taxi drivers,” said Ricardo Brito, project manager at Elektro. “What we have now is high-quality voice and broadband data communications through both cellular networks and satellite, with an intelligent system that selects the lowest cost route. This project is the result of intensive analysis and evaluation, and is a truly innovative solution that has not been tried in the field before.”
Gerbrand Schalkwijk, Vice President of Enterprise Energy at Inmarsat, said, “Leading utilities worldwide must maintain fast, reliable communications with their field-service personnel to ensure optimal customer service. At Inmarsat, we are continually working with our trusted partners to develop innovative communications solutions to meet those demanding network requirements.”
Tesacom installed each of the service vehicles with a Thrane & Thrane EXPLORER 325 satellite antenna, a Thrane & Thrane CommBox with PTT microphone, two GSM/GPRS modems and VoIP software. The system will provide high-speed, reliable communications between all mobile teams, dispatchers and support professionals.
“This project shows that mobile satellite solutions can provide effective and economically viable solutions and reach areas that had not even been considered before,” said José Sanchez Elía, CEO of Tesacom. “This project by Elektro demonstrates the possibilities that mobile satellite systems can offer to companies to cover their needs, which until today would not have been an option for them.”
The Thrane & Thrane EXPLORER 325 is a vehicular BGAN terminal capable of delivering standard IP at up to 384kbps, with a guaranteed or streaming IP rate of 128kbps. It works down to an elevation of 5 degrees, whether stationary or moving at speed across any type of terrain.
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,500 staff in more than 40 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. For the year ended 31st December 2011, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$1,409 million and an EBITDA of US$854 million. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com.
TESACOM is the leading company which provides integral telecommunications solutions for remote locations in South America. It is the only company in the region that operates a constellation of 40 satellites from its facilities in Argentina. With offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay it provides its services at regional level. Its range of solutions is one of the largest in the market and covers mobile satellite service, satellite multimedia service, location service and tracking through GPS, software platforms, advanced technology equipment with the highest quality, integration of networks and development of value-added applications. For more information about Tesacom services call 0810-3456-728 or visit www.tesacom.net.